Seder planned in Nepal missing Passover supplies

AP News
Posted: Mar 31, 2014 10:33 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — There's a Passover crisis brewing in an unlikely location: Katmandu, Nepal.

Each year, Chabad-Lubavitch, a Jewish outreach organization, hosts a communal seder there that typically attracts more than 1,000 guests, many of them Israeli backpackers traveling through the region.

But this year shipments of Passover supplies needed for the holiday meal are stuck in port in India. The supplies are normally routed via the Israeli embassy of Nepal, but the Israeli Foreign Ministry is on strike, which affects the embassy, and the supplies have not gotten through, according to Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, a Chabad-Lubavitch spokesman in New York.

Organizers are exploring options ranging from baking matzo onsite to flying in supplies in small batches with individual travelers.

The Nepal seder is one of hundreds hosted around the globe by Chabad-Lubavitch. Anyone is welcome to attend the holiday meals, which are listed at . This year's locations range from many U.S. college campuses to St. Thomas, Turkey and Tasmania.

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In Kinshasa, Congo, Rabbi Shlomo and Miriam Bentolila, directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Central Africa, expect about 100 people for their seder. Despite strife in Ukraine, 800 guests are expected at five communal seders in the city of Kharkiv. And in Thailand, seders are planned in Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and several other locales.